Trimble, Hilti and Boston Dynamics Teaming Up to Test Autonomous Robots in Construction

Trimble, Hilti and Boston Dynamics are collaborating on integration of Trimble’s and Hilti’s construction management software solutions, GNSS technology and reality capture devices with Boston Dynamics’ Spot Robot platform

Boston Dynamics' Spot Robot with a Trimble X7 3D Laser Scanning System, a high-speed laser scanner with integrated imaging, automatic calibration and registration technologies as well as survey-grade self-levelling.
Boston Dynamics' Spot Robot with a Trimble X7 3D Laser Scanning System, a high-speed laser scanner with integrated imaging, automatic calibration and registration technologies as well as survey-grade self-levelling.

Trimble, Hilti and Boston Dynamics announced a collaboration to explore the integration of Trimble’s and Hilti’s construction management software solutions, GNSS technology and reality capture devices with Boston Dynamics’ Spot Robot platform.

Autonomous robots can play a significant role in construction, specifically in production and quality control workflows by enabling automation of routine and tedious tasks, reducing workload and improving safety. The companies will collaborate to develop a “proof-of-concept” solution.

Equipped with Trimble’s and Hilti’s reality capture devices as its payload and directly communicating with a cloud-based construction management application, the Boston Dynamics Spot Robot will be able to provide consistent output, deliver improved efficiency on repeatable tasks and enable up-to-date as-built data analysis.

The autonomous, terrain-agnostic capabilities support the dynamic nature of the construction environment, enabling the robot to by-pass obstacles and maintain its defined path to support routine tasks such as daily site scans, progress monitoring, asset management and remote support. Multi-directional communication between the robot, Trimble’s and Hilti’s payloads and the cloud application support a continuous flow of information and closes the loop for the construction environment.

“Utilizing robots for routine tasks in hazardous environments to improve safety, efficiency and data capture consistency is part of our digital transformation vision,” said Aviad Almagor, senior director for Mixed Reality and Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) at Trimble. “We are excited for this latest collaboration and looking forward to the potential integration of our hardware and software solutions with the Boston Dynamics’ Spot Robot to enhance field-oriented workflows, reduce amount of rework and facilitate on-site tasks.”

“Trimble’s and Hilti’s domain knowledge, market leadership and technologies are a great fit for our robotic platform,” said Michael Perry, vice president of Business Development at Boston Dynamics. “Deploying an integrated solution in the real-world environment doing dirty and dangerous work, before, during and after the construction stage is a common vision for the three companies, which can help drive the transformation of the construction industry.”

This isn't the only use of Spot on construction sites. HoloBuilder is using its smartphone app as a remote control to "train" the Spot robot to walk large construction sites to capture 360-degree images to help track job progress.

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